Saratoga NY - When a crowd applauds unrecorded, just written material before the first phrase is uttered, an explanation is in order. It seems that Melanie's fans couldn't wait for the evening show - they sat in on her sound-check and dutifully learned each tune from her forthcoming Neighborhood LP inside and out.
Yet come concert time, Melanie was still hesitant about revealing the songs, even after crowd reaction showed total approval. No one can call her overconfident, but timidity is a large part of her charm. "Steppin' out with my new man tonight" seemed to indicate that charm is changing form, however: it's her first woman-in-the-raw-badmouthin'-her-man song, but a most successful attempt at changing a dreary-eyed child into a vamp about town.
The child has become an internationally acclaimed singer and no doubt the grown-up side will follow suit.
Shouts for "Carolina", "Ruby Tuesday", "Alexander Beetle,' and countless others were answered in kind, sung during a two-hour plus set which continued out backstage when she was cajoled into signing autographs and granting less specific audiences to the throngs who would not leave. And it's still good to know that she's more comfortable in the role of chanteuse than of Pope. Somehow, it works better that way.
Without reservation, Melanie is the most creative, most magnetic young female performer embracing the folk-rock scene today. Her concert performances Sept., 5th at the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center was enchanting for its style, simplicity and taste. In addition, her self-composed songs are filled with deep feelings and melodic architecture which and far above the hollow wastelands and surface noise produced by most other youthful artists, All her attributes, the haunting wails, the inner storm she creates with her strong strumming on acoustic guitar, the powerful lyrics, which are full of fantasy/reality and hold out pertinent messages and meanings to youth, enraptured the audience with one outpouring after another. Tune after tune, "Beautiful People," "Good-bye Ruby Tuesday" "Tuning My Guitar", "Lay Down(Candles In The Rain)," among her oldies, rang with finality of perfection.
The near overflow audience of predominately college students echoed and mirrored her total involvement in the themes of pain, love, hope, peace, with a communication of their own.
Stamping, stomping, applauding, yelling and by rushing to the stage, they paid her homage in a scene so reminiscent of the Garland phenomena, and made her sing encore after encore. And her newer tunes, heard in public for the first time, created a similar impact. These included a "Brand New Key," "Little Bit Of Me" and "Ring The Living Bell". All have hit potential, and are cuts from her debut LP on Neighborhood Records.
Saratoga NY the big-eyed, beautiful lady who is one of the most charismatic performers around, charmed her audience once again on Sunday, Sept. 5th.
The Neighborhood artist sang tunes from her forthcoming album, as well as ones from past Buddah label recordings. The crowd, nearly 10,000 strong, were captivated by such standouts as "Beautiful People," "Brand New Key," Ring The Living Bell," "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)'' and her heart-tugging rendition of the Stones' classic "Ruby Tuesday."
Throughout the performance, as always, she touched the audience with feelings of empathy and love, but at this concert there was a marked difference.
For the first time, her fans saw her as a woman, not a girl; and her new works reflect her growth nicely.